Naughty Nestle & Wily Wall’s

After emailing both Nestle and Wall’s about their labelling (or lack of) on their packaging for vegetarians I have been given two responses.

Both Nestle and Wall’s Ice Cream have provided me with lists indicating which of their products are and are not suitable for vegetarians. However, Nestle’s is a little less accurate:

1)  In the email (included below) I was informed that Nestle do label all their products that are suitable for vegetarians – but this is not the case. I have taken photos of one of my personal favourites (or used to be), the yorkie bar. You can see that the three magic words are not present, and no logo in sight!

2) Secondly, the Nestle list does not include the ‘Fab’ ice cream mentioned in an earlier post ‘Ice Cream Conundrum’ – rather bemusing as it was the only ice cream they had actually labelled.

So what is a veggy to do? Neither Nestle or Wall’s Ice Cream deem it a priority for vegetarians to know whether their products are edible for us vegetarians, or those of us following a Halal diet or so on. What is worse, Nestle seem to think they are labelling their products when they’re not! As most of us veggies know, it’s not a legal requirement to label their products as suitable for vegetarians, but isn’t it common courtesy? Most restaurants and cafes are required to inform consumers what is vegetarian and what is not, so why do these big manufacturing companies seem to get away with it? Alright maybe you think I’m moaning a bit – they did provide me with the lists I asked for after all, but look at what lengths I had to go to. Neither of these major brands provided the details on their websites, so it takes a veg revver like myself, or a determined individual, to independently approach the company, wait around two weeks and get sent the necessary information. This seems a bit archaic to me.

Why is there a dogma on signposting what products are suitable and those that aren’t? Surely it’s easier to just stick a comprehensive and accessible list on their websites (which you consult for information on the products, not to stare at the pretty pictures) so as to save all this hassle?

The salient issue to me is; why aren’t vegetarians taken seriously? If I was trying to find out information based on an allergy I would not have even had to consult a website, or email the manufacturer to find out if said product was suitable for me to consume. But somehow or other, due to a moral, religious, environmental or health conscious decision to be vegetarian, this choice is not acknowledged by either Nestle or Wall’s Ice Cream, just to name a few. How disappointing.

Nestle’s Response:

 Please find the attached scanned document regarding products which are suitable for vegetarians. 

Please note the error on the list – ALL mousse products contain BEEF GELATINE.

 As far as I am aware most, if not all of our products have labelling on them as to whether they are suitable for vegetarians on them.

If none is present they would not be suitable for vegetarians, such as Smarties products.

 Regards

Nestle Employee*

To see Nestle’s list click here

Wall’s Ice Cream’s Response:

Thank you for your recent email.

I can confirm that it is not a legal requirement to state on food packaging whether or not the product is suitable for vegetarians. However, we do list in the ingredients of our products if they come from an animal source.

I have enclosed a list which I hope you will find useful. This information has been provided in good faith using the most up-to-date information available at the date of going to print – 24.02.2011. Please note that the information is subject to change due to recipe amendments and therefore ALWAYS check the product label for the most accurate information.

Thank you for your interest in our products and please do not hesitate to contact me again if you have any further queries. 

Kind regards,

Wall’s Employee*

To see Wall’s list click here

After reading both emails, I do have further queries which this veg revver will find answers to. Why is Nestle’s labelling so random and why are they unaware of this? And why don’t Nestle and Wall’s Ice Cream consider vegetarians as much of a priority as their other consumers?

Veg Revver

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